Integrative Wellness Approaches to Mitigate Perceived Stress, Increase Vitality, and Build Community during COVID-19: A Pilot Study

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Amber Vermeesch, Associate Professor of Nursing (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Introduction: In January 2020, a small, private school of nursing in a university in the pacificnorthwest, established the Initiative for Vital Practice (I4VP). The I4VP’s primary goal was tocreate a sustainable pathway for increasing vital practice through increasing resiliency and selfcarepractices. Objectives. The ensuing pathway’s objectives were to, (1) take previously identifiedfactors related to perceived stress related to workloads, impacts on professional quality of life andpsychosocial exposures during the COVID-19 pandemic; and (2) develop and pilot test a wellnessintervention (i.e., wellness pods) for faculty and staff to build community and find new ways toenhance well-being through peer support. Methods: Five focused Wellness Pods were developedon Microsoft Teams platform using the individual channels: (1) stress and mind–body explorationpod; (2) mindfulness in healthcare pod; (3) healing relationship pod; (4) environmental pod; and(5) physical activity pod. Faculty and staff self-selected into a Wellness Pod that interested them.The Wellness Pods met weekly in person over a period of two months. Quantitative and qualitativedata was collected via cross-sectional surveys including: four sociodemographic items, one itemon current stress level, one write-in item on current stress management at work, two write-in itemsfocused on the cognitive reasoning for participation, the 7-item subjective vitality scale focusedindividual difference, the 7-item subjective vitality scale focused on the state level, the 10-itemperceived stress scale, and one item ranking which wellness pod the individual wanted toparticipate in. There was one trained facilitator for the overall Wellness Pods operations andcommunication. Results. The average score on the perceived stress scale was 22.3 (SD = 3.5),indicating moderate levels of perceived stress. The average score on the individual differencevitality score was 26.5 (SD = 7.6), whereas the state level vitality score was 21.4 (SD = 9.98),indicating moderate levels of subjective vitality. Two categories: stress management and wellnesspods, were identified through content analysis. Conclusions: Through pilot testing, this projectdemonstrated feasibility for future wellness pods interventions for faculty and staff at schools ofnursing. Future research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of the wellness pods intervention.

Additional Information

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(24
Language: English
Date: 2022
subjective vitality, community building, perceived stress, integrative health, wellness interventions, burnout, compassion fatigue, nurse educators, Covid-19

Email this document to